Contemporary Master: Spencer Tunick

Nude Gathering

Santiago 2, 2002. Click the photo for more information.

Spencer Tunick’s works might seem shocking to the uninitiated (especially in somewhat puritanical societies such as our own), but closer inspection belies a more subtle approach to the human form that transcends such notions. His works take familiar settings such as city streets, shopping centers and public squares and transform them into seas of humanity. Through this effect, he is able to give strong contrast to the built world that we have created to the essential fact of our humanness that is laid bare in epic fashion.

Though these efforts have a muted sense of eroticism compared with the nude works of many other photographers, they have not been created without controversy. After five arrests at the hands of authorities in New York City, Tunick filed a civil rights lawsuit in Federal Court against the city. Despite numerous attempts at appeals from the city authorities, his case was upheld by the Circuit Court and remanded by Ruth Bader Ginsberg when the city attempted to make the highest appeal. Despite this decision, New York City denied his later permit requests, and Spencer took his works abroad to avoid unnecessary harassment.

The work above represents one of Tunick’s Urban series of photographs. In addition to these, he has also created a wide variety of installations using painted human figures en masse, massed nudes in natural settings, photographs of nudes at “parties,” and single nudes in various settings. His most recent piece was completed at the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada.

Join us Thursday, September 26th for a chance to own this and other fine photographs in Auction 516: Fine and Rare Books, Photographs & etc. In addition to Spencer Tunick, we have works by Brassai, Mario Giacomelli, Thomas Harding, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Joel Meyerowitz, Arnold Newman, Karl Struss and Joyce Tenneson. Numerous limited edition photo books and other works are also available.